Thursday 19 October 2017

Former NAMA official is named in Seanad

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

A FORMER NAMA official who was publicly named in the Seanad has insisted that he had no involvement in the Irish property market since he left the agency.

Paul Hennigan had been responsible for overseeing €5bn of NAMA assets in his time at the agency.

But he left his role as senior asset manager earlier this year to take up the position of partner with the London-based Prime London Partners. It advises clients on commercial, residential and retail property worldwide.

Mr Hennigan was named in the Seanad by Labour senator Lorraine Higgins, who called on NAMA to review their contracts of employment so that valuable information gleaned by their employees could not be utilised when they left. She named Mr Hennigan as an individual who left NAMA and immediately took up employment as a partner with another property company in the UK.

"I outlined that this situation significantly undermines NAMA's ability to recover the optimum amount for its assets and for the Irish taxpayer, given the information this individual has relates to valuations on the property, the loan amounts and the amount NAMA might accept for any one of those properties," she said.

Mr Hennigan, who is currently visiting Dublin, said he had nothing to do with property in Ireland or Dublin since leaving NAMA

"My family live here and I have only concentrated on assets in which NAMA has never had any interest, or Irish borrowers have never had any interest, or Irish banks have never had any interest, and I would never consider doing anything other than that knowing what the potential pitfalls that would be," he told the Irish Independent.

He said he did not want to comment on the remarks made about him by Ms Higgins in the Seanad. She said yesterday that he had contacted her office after she had mentioned him in the Seanad earlier this year.

"The individual I speak of is the same individual who tried to silence me when he rang my office and left a message on my answering machine, threatening me with legal action if I mentioned him in a submission to this House again on this very subject," she said.

Mr Hennigan's profile on the Prime London Partners website states that he qualified as a chartered accountant and then joined Bank of Ireland's Risk Management Unit in 2007.

It said that he was hired by NAMA in 2009 and was assigned "the largest single debt portfolio on its book with a total exposure of €5bn secured on a range of assets".

It said that he had managed many of the largest transactions undertaken by NAMA. He managed the £662m (€782m) debt sale secured against the Maybourne Hotel Group, the sale of the Knightsbridge Estate for £620m and a number of commercial and residential properties in Mayfair & Manhattan for in excess of stg£800m.

Irish Independent

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